What is an energy vampire? It is a person in your life that leaves you feeling very emotionally and/or mentally exhausted after interacting with them. Their conversation centered on their long laundry list of troubles. Energy vampires always have something to consistently complain about, and/or problems that need to be fixed. They’ll drain your energy by forcing you to listen to their problems or by giving them excessive amounts of attention.
These vampires heavily rely on you to help them solve their issues. They need you to be the “chosen one” to listen. They are most likely addicted to “awfulizing” what is happening. It can make you feel good to be the “open door” go-to person to be there when the need arises. However, the distinction to be mindful of is the recognition of how often this happens to you. How much does this individual contact you? How frequently? Do you feel that they have expectations for you to come up with solutions each time?
It is important in life to have a confidante to be your “sounding board.” A trustworthy person that you feel is both caring and logical. This special individual really ought to hold your best interests at heart. Sometimes we need to have someone be our best friend and guide us. To help you navigate what is worth concerning yourself with. This designated person is someone whom you have deemed can clearly separate fact from fiction. They may be wise and very pragmatic. From your past involvement with them they have proven to you that they have an objective non-judgmental approach.
There is an old expression of “Misery loves company.” This is the primary motive of the energy vampire. They bring you down because they are down. They may not want to put forth or expend their own mental or emotional energy to try and work on resolving their dilemmas. It is much easier to seek out answers and obtain advise from you. I firmly believe in the following astute quote:
“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Castaneda
How to avoid these energy vampires? It is a matter of learning to set limits on how often and how much you are willing to tolerate. When you make the conscious choice to establish and stick to your boundaries you will be controlling how much you allow them to “suck” you dry. Let this person know ahead of time that you do not want every conversation to be a long complaint session. That you truly care about their well-being but they must own up to their own problems. It is in their own interest for personal growth to try their best to put forth the necessary effort to improve their situation. You can even turn it around on them and ask them what they plan to do to “fix” it. You can help them create an action plan and hold them accountable. Then reward them with praise on how well they did. You can acknowledge and reinforce that they can be both capable and resourceful. Like raising little children, you attempt to “catch them being good” and they will become less of an energy vampire to you!